A Year Of Giving

The 2018 Charitable Events Guide

Haven’t you heard—2018 is the year of giving back. No doubt, this is one trend you’ll want to follow, so we’ve gathered just a few local events from Marion and Citrus Counties to kick off the new year. From January to December—here are the dates you’ll want to save.*

4th Annual 5K Benefiting Local Charities – Harbor Hills Ladies Charity

January 20
Run or walk through the beautiful Harbor Hills community to benefit smaller local charities in partnership with the Harbor Hills Ladies Charity. harborhills.com or (352) 753-7000

Florida Fun Mini Match Dance Competition

January 21
The Florida Fun Mini Match is a ballroom dance competition held at the Circle Square Cultural Center. A portion of the proceeds will benefit the Marion Therapeutic Riding Association. dancedancedance.biz/minimatch or (352) 266-0015

2nd Annual Ignite Fundraiser

January 25
Join ladies from around the community to raise money for the Ocala Domestic Violence / Sexual Assault Center. igniteforocala.com

12th Annual King of the Wing

January 30
Support ARC Marion and the Marion County Building Industry Association by enjoying some wings and pizza at this annual event at Marion County’s Southeastern Livestock Pavilion from 5-9pm. mcarc.com or (352) 387-2210

Day of Caring

February 24
Area businesses, individuals, organizations and civic clubs can help local non-profit human service agencies accomplish much-needed projects during one day of organized volunteerism. uwmc.org or (352) 732-9696

Pancakes in the Park

February 24
The Friends of Silver Springs State Park will be serving a pancake breakfast on the river side of the park at 9am to benefit Silver Springs State Park’s education program. thefriendsofsilversprings.org or 352-236-5401

Ocala Royal Dames’ Tiara Ball

February 24
Dress your best, recognize some of Ocala’s up-and-coming debutantes and raise money to support cancer research. ocalaroyaldames.org or (352) 622-7363

Helping Hands Dinner and Fundraiser

February, TBD
Enjoy dinner, dessert, raffles and auction items. Helping Hands provides shelter and related assistance for people in need, mostly women and children. helpinghandsocala.org or (352) 732-4464

Taste of Ocala

March 3
This annual event features a social hour, restaurant tastings and live music. Funds raised benefit the CF Foundation at the College of Central Florida. cf.edu/foundation or (352) 873-5808

5th Annual Habitat Strawberry Festival

March 3
This festival, located at the McPherson Complex, draws the community together in celebration of all things strawberry to raise money for the Habitat for Humanity of Marion County. habitatocala.org or (352) 351-3081

The 6th Annual Disability Awareness Walk and Roll 5K and Family Fun Run

March 3
This county-wide event will provide all participants with inclusive activities designed to promote disability awareness for families, schools and communities. habitathernando.org or (352)797-7070 ext. 490

31st Annual Floral City Strawberry Festival

March 3-4
The Citrus County Agricultural Alliance will be in charge of the strawberry shortcake tent, with a portion of the sale proceeds given to the organization to support their local projects. citruscountychamber.com or (352) 795-3149

Charity Pro/Am Golf Tournament

March 20-23
The Ocala Open will take place at Candler Hills Golf Club and raises funds for Interfaith Emergency Services and Hospice of Marion County. candlerhillsgolfclub.com or (352) 387-7510

12th Annual Marion County Go Red for Women

March, TBD
Benefiting the American Heart Association, this event aims to increase awareness about heart disease and stroke in women. Guests are in for a night of live music and dancing, silent auctions and fine dining. goredforwomen.org or (1-800) 257-6941, ext. 8107

17th Annual Arnette House Benefit

March, TBD
Enjoy an evening of entertainment, food, drinks, games and auctions, all while raising money for the Arnette House, a 24-hour emergency youth shelter for children ages 10 to 17. arnettehouse.org or (352) 622-6135

H.U.G.S. Community Celebration

April 26
This 10th annual fundraiser for H.U.G.S Charities will take place at the Country Club of Ocala from 6:30-8:30pm. hugscharities.org or call (352) 598-1066.

7th Annual Race Against Child Abuse

April 7
This family-friendly 5K race is fully escorted by the Ocala Police Department and benefits Kimberly’s Center for Child Protection. kimberlyscenter.org or (352) 873-4739

Relay for Life of Ocala

April 13
Relay for Life is the signature fundraiser for the American Cancer Society and brings the community together to remember loved ones, honor survivors and raise money to help battle cancer. relayforlife.org or (352) 629-4727

Ride for the Arts

April 21
The fourth annual Ride for the Arts benefits the Marion Cultural Alliance’s Endowment for the Arts, which offers grants to cultural organizations throughout Marion County. rideforthearts.com or (352) 369-1500

March for Babies

April 28
The 6-mile event raises money for the March of Dimes and takes place at the Marjorie Harris Carr Cross Florida Greenway. marchforbabies.org or (352) 629-7555

4th Annual Friends of Furry Faces

April, TBD
This fundraiser supports the Humane Society of Marion County. thehsmc.org or (352) 873-7387

Bridles, Birdies and BBQ

April, TBD
Combining two of Ocala’s greatest passions—horses and golf—this event pairs teams of equestrian riders with local golfers in a relay race, all benefiting The First Tee of Greater Ocala. thefirstteegreaterocala.org or (352) 362-2258

3rd Annual “Be You!” A Walk for Children’s Mental Health

April, TBD
This second annual walk benefits children who utilize services at The Centers in Ocala and recognizes the importance of individuality in children’s mental health. thecenters.us or facebook.com/beyouwalk or (352) 291-5555.

Brick City Blues Festival

May 18
Hear some of your favorite local and regional blues acts, all to benefit the Ocala Outreach Foundation’s Feed the Need project. ocalaoutreach.com or (352) 535-0321 

Derby Day—10K, 5K & Kids 1K

May, TBD
The annual Derby Day event benefits the PACE Center for Girls of Marion County. PACE serves girls with academic, counseling and transition services. pacecenter.org/locations/marion or (352) 369-0571

5th Annual Glo with the Flo 5K Race

August, TBD
This fun, nighttime 5K will light up historic downtown Ocala and benefits the Marion County Children’s Alliance and the Drayton Florence Foundation. facebook.com/glowiththeflo 

United Way of Citrus County Boots & Bling

August, TBD
Boots & Bling, sponsored by Mike Bays State Farm, is an evening of dinner, drinks and live music. citrusunitedway.org or (352) 795-5483

16th Annual Cattle Baron’s Ball

September 15
Wear your best Western duds in support of the American Cancer Society’s community-based patient services programs, life-saving cancer research and education. http://bit.ly/2zrIJdr or (352) 350-2273

Walk to End Alzheimer’s

September, TBD
This walk is held annually in more than 600 communities nationwide and raises awareness and funds for Alzheimer’s care, support and research. alz.org or (352) 372-6266

Ocala Shrine Rodeo

September, TBD
Come out for a night of bucking broncos and rodeo cowboys—all to benefit the Shriners Hospitals for Children, which provides care for children in the areas of orthopaedics, burn care, spinal cord injuries, and cleft lip and palate, regardless of a family’s ability to pay. facebook.com/ocalashrinerodeo or (352) 694-1515

5th Annual Team Scrabble

October, TBD
Come out for a rousing game of team Scrabble, all to benefit the Marion County Literacy Council. The organization is focused on making sure adult citizens have access to resources to help improve literacy skills. marionliteracy.org or (352) 690-7323

23rd Annual Autumn Gift Market

October, TBD
This event supports the Junior League of Ocala, which promotes volunteerism, develops the potential of women and improves communities through the effective action and leadership of volunteers. juniorleagueofocala.com

5th Annual Dining in the Dark

October, TBD
A journey of tastes, sounds, touch, appreciation and awareness, guests will walk and dine in total darkness to experience the same challenges faced by blind and visually impaired people. All proceeds benefit the Florida Center for the Blindflblind.org or (352) 873-4700


October, TBD
The annual fall Jeep show and swap meet will be held at the Ocala Speedway. The event benefits Paws for a Cause and Interfaith Emergency Services. ocalajeepclub.com

Heart Walk

October, TBD
The annual Marion County Heart Walk benefits the American Heart Association. marionheartwalk.kintera.org or (800) 257-6941, ext. 8107

4th Annual Suitcase Party

October, TBD
Pack your bags and bring your suitcases while you enjoy a great time in the hangar. Outside the open hangar door will sit a private jet, planes, limos and more. All proceeds benefit the Boys & Girls Clubs of Citrus County. bgccitrus.org or (352) 621-9225

Making Strides Against Breast Cancer

October, TBD
This annual tradition raises money for the American Cancer Society. Celebrating survivorship, the event happens during Breast Cancer Awareness Month. makingstrides.acsevents.org or (352) 629-4727

Swing for Survivors

October, TBD
This scramble golf tournament will benefit the Citrus County Abuse Shelter Association and offers auctions, raffles and plenty of prizes. casafl.org or (352) 344-8111

Lake Hernando Dragon Boat Festival

November, TBD
Visit arts and crafts and food vendors, enjoy live music and play games with the kiddos while taking in the dragon boat races. lakehernandodragonboatfestival.com or 352-201-6500

Ocala-Silver Springs Rotary Club 4th Annual Classic

November, TBD
This golf tournament has benefited Project Hope for the past two years, as well as Rotary International. Golfers can register as an individual or as a team. projecthopeocala.org or (352) 624-4673

11th Annual “Stone Crab Jam”

November, TBD
Downtown Crystal River streets are closed to showcase fresh Florida stone crabs, beer, wine, unique arts and craft vendors and more. Proceeds benefit area non-profits, charitable organizations, scholarships and projects.  stonecrabjam.com

10th Annual Chair-ity Event

November, TBD
Hosted by the Ocala Marion County Association of Realtors, this event has benefited the Boys & Girls Clubs of Marion County in previous years. The event features food trucks, silent and live auctions and refreshments. omcar.com or (352) 629-2415

Annual Semesco Shamble

November, TBD
The Andrew J. Semesco Foundation Inc. hosts its annual Semesco Shamble at the Ocala Golf Club. All proceeds benefit oral, head and neck cancer research. ajsfoundation.org or (352) 817-2158

Annual Florida Feast

November, TBD
The Florida Feast, hosted by the Marion County Roadbuilders Association, presents an authentic Florida menu each year. Proceeds benefit several local charities. iesmarion.org or (352) 629-8868

Special Olympics’ 8th Annual Golf Tournament

November, TBD

5th Annual Champions for Change Dinner

October, TBD
These events benefit the local athletes of the Marion County Special Olympics, which provides year-round sports training and competition to children and adults with disabilities. specialolympicsflorida.org/marion or  (352) 243-9536

Annual Toy Run

December, TBD
The annual Toy Run, hosted by the Harley Owners Group of Ocala, FL Chapter, benefits underprivileged children in Marion County. Children will meet the riders near the downtown square where toys will be distributed. Toys are also distributed to Interfaith Emergency Services, the Salvation Army and the Ocala Domestic Violence/Sexual Assault Center, among other Marion County charities. ocalahogchapter.net or (352) 427-6679

Pancake Day

December, TBD
The largest fundraiser for the Kiwanis Club of Ocala, come out for a pancake breakfast and help support Camp Kiwanis, an overnight summer camp for children in Marion County. ocalakiwanis.org or (352) 854-2664


Have a charitable event you’d like to see listed in next year’s calendar? Email us at [email protected].

*Editor’s Note: This is not a comprehensive list of charitable events in the Marion and Citrus County area. All events are subject to date changes and cancelation. Events without specific dates are based on when the event was held in previous years. There is no guarantee that the event will be held in this month during 2018 or whether it will be held at all. Contact the event host for more information about any event.

Posted in Healthy Living Features

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